THE theme tune of ‘Neighbours’ will be playing on the Navan Road all week. Plunkett’s against Brigid’s in Sunday’s Evening Herald Dublin SFC final is some soap opera.
Brigid’s and Plunkett’s are the best of pals, but for one hour on Sunday there will be a go-slow on passing the cups of sugar over the hedge.
Frank Sinatra might also be on the CD player up in Russell Park because St Brigid’s have certainly done it their way ... the hard way.
Lorcan McCarthy agrees: “Yes, if we are going to win the title, it will be the hard way.”
Brigid’s have endured some stern tests. One of the biggest came last Saturday when they climbed off the floor to defeat Ballymun Kickhams |(1-18 to 1-12) in extra-time.
In that tussle, Lorcan came off the bench to good effect. He has the knack of entering the action and making a telling contribution.
His valuable donations also helped Brigid’s reach the 2007 final as they had memorable wins in the quarter-final against UCD and the semi-final against St Jude’s.
They lost in the final to St Vincent’s, who, of course, went on to lift the |All-Ireland crown.
He is an elegant forward. And he has the gift of manufacturing the yard to enable him to have a pop. Space wasn’t easy to find in last Saturday’s semi-final.
“That was a really tough battle. Ballymun put it up to us,” reflected Lorcan.
“We couldn’t have asked for a tougher battle.
“They are a great young team. They have plenty of energy and they are going to be around for several years to come.
“It wouldn’t surprise anybody if they were going to feature regularly in semi-finals and finals in the seasons to come.
“They have plenty of energy about them. Our priority was to stay focused on what we were trying to do and thankfully we managed to get through in the extra-time.”
Brigid’s also overcame three other heavyweights – Na Fianna (0-14 to |0-11), Kilmacud Crokes (0-8 to 0-7) and Ballyboden St Enda’s (1-17 to 1-7).
“Like Ballymun, Na Fianna are also a very good young team that are coming through. They also gave us a really hard examination.
“And then there were Crokes and ’Boden, two big clubs who have won the Dublin title in the last two years, so there was nothing handy in any of those matches.”
Yet Lorcan feels it was the |club’s opening assignment against Templeogue Synge Street that set the tempo for the rest of the journey.
“Looking back, maybe we didn’t have our eye on the ball as much as we should have at the start of the year.
“And in that game against Templeogue, we perhaps weren’t as
focused as we should have been, and we duly paid the price.
“Templeogue played better than us on the day and they deserved to win, but we took lessons from the defeat and we have moved on.”
And moving on to the next |station is at the heart of the Brigid’s thinking. They had more of a sharpness about them as they overcame St Mark’s (2-14 to 1-4) the next day.
Brigid’s beat Plunkett’s in last year’s semi-final, but that result has been well deleted from the file.
“Last year was last year. That’s gone as far as we are concerned. We have to keep building for this year,” states Lorcan.
“We have worked very hard and we’d like to try and reap the benefit of that effort now. We have to keep moving on.
“It’s all about going forward. You can’t be looking back.”
And the gospel according to Mark Byrne, Gerry McEntee and the rest of the Brigid’s management unit centres on industry.
“The management keep stressing it’s all about the team.
“There are no individuals.
“It’s all about work-rate.
“Players play for each other. We try to get |the ball to the player that is best available to receive it, and we try to make sure that it’s a good pass so that he has a bit of time on the ball.
“We’ll keep on trying to do the same on Sunday. We’ll work hard and hope for the best.
“It’s going to be another mammoth battle against Plunkett’s. They’ll be the favourites. They have some fabulous footballers.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board this week. We’ll prepare well and rest up.
“Our priority will be to make sure we perform. And if we do that, we’ll ask them a few questions.
“It should be a great game. County final day and two teams from just down the road playing each other.”
The Navan Road awaits.
“Everybody is looking forward to it. The two neighbours meeting. That’s what makes it so special,” added McCarthy.